Paintings and signs in caves that have survived tens of thousands of years do not date back 200,000-300,00 years, or when homo sapiens were thought to evolve. If belief in a higher existence were intrinsic we'd see it that far back or close to it. And that would be only one indicator. That we don't see it until relatively recently says a lot. Even within the last 30,000 years humans have shown reverence for the lives of the animals they kill. For all living things. How many people today could not care less about a dead cow or bear. The OP is right that modern humans, going back 10,000 years maybe, have gradually gravitated to deities. Tens of thousands of them. The first were of nature. God of the corn, god of the volcano, or of fertility. Monotheism is very recent in terms of the entire history of humankind. Before this humans were animals surviving in a physical world. The concept of a 'higher being' or an entity controlling things like lightning and fire were absent.